New ActiveHygiene Leather launched

By Archie Browning, Sales Director

Muirhead Active Hygiene Leather is our latest innovative leather product. A sustainable natural leather with built-in antiviral technology, designed to improve hygiene in aircraft and other vehicle cabins.

As the aviation industry envisages travel in a post COVID-19 world, Muirhead is working closely with Airlines, Design Studios and Aircraft manufacturers to create interiors solutions to safeguard passengers and rebuild public confidence for the future.

Muirhead is a leading supplier of fine Scottish leather to the global aviation industry, with a reputation built over 180 years for delivering high quality, high performance, sustainable products. We take a careful, considered approach to new challenges and coronavirus was no different.

We challenged Muirhead’s R&D team to deliver a credible and effective antiviral leather for our customers that does not compromise on our stringent quality, performance and sustainability requirements. They looked back almost 20 years to research that began in 2002, responding to the outbreak of SARS – when Muirhead first recognised the potential for a global pandemic to affect our customers’ industries. That existing research had provided an ongoing long-term relationship with Polygiene® world leader in hygiene control technologies.

The guarantees of quality, performance and reliability from Polygiene®, and its commitment to testing and sustainability, very much mirrored Muirhead’s own. Their ViralOff® treatment was selected as the proven, effective, antiviral treatment that we would integrate into our manufacturing process to create Muirhead Active Hygiene Leather.

ViralOff® can be incorporated into any of our bespoke natural leathers during our sustainable manufacturing process, making it an intrinsic part of the leather – not just a coating. This makes it an ‘always on’ self-disinfecting treatment, which is working continually to reduce viruses - including SARS-Cov-2, H3N2 and H1N1 - by more than 99% in less than two hours.

All ViralOff® testing is conducted to ISO18184:2019 industry standards, offering total confidence that the figures quoted are credible and accurate. And, because ViralOff® is fully integrated into the natural fibres of Muirhead Active Hygiene Leather, it too carries Muirhead’s seven-year lifetime guarantee. Reassurance that if specified for your vehicle seating in 2021/22, the antiviral properties of the leather will still be active, destroying viruses and keeping people safe, as we approach the end of the decade.

Because we build in ViralOff® technology during our existing manufacturing process there are no additional stages required and the lead times for Muirhead ActiveHygiene Leather are not impacted in any way.

Deep cleaning of aircraft, and all public transport vehicles, will now be a permanent part of rebuilding passenger confidence. Because Muirhead ActiveHygiene Leather is self-disinfecting, it removes the need for additional sanitising of seat covers, head and armrests - speeding up cabin interior turnaround times.

As the producer of the world’s lowest carbon intensity leather, Muirhead live and do business by a strict set of sustainability guidelines. Our long-term solution to Coronavirus sits comfortably within that ethical framework. The active ingredient in ViralOff® which inhibits bacterial growth and viral activity is silver chloride. The silver used comes directly from end-of-life electronic products, in line with Muirhead’s commitment to a sustainable circular economy and creative re-use of co-products.

Research, partnership, development, testing and re-testing have been at the heart of this product development journey. We are confident that Muirhead ActiveHygiene Leather will help our customers and partners in the aviation, rail, bus and mass transit sectors create safer cabin environments, reassuring passengers that they can once again travel safely.